Book of the Month: December 2017

Unearthly Beauty by Magdalen Smith

Too often the church and our faith seem preoccupied with our own rather incomprehensible narratives as the energy seems to draw us inwards. These are difficult and demanding times with great change as some churches struggle to survive. So easily can we become anxious and distracted. This is a really wonderfully realistic and outward looking exploration of 24 Saints – some familiar and some less known – whose lives and faith are narrated for us and for the expanding of our spiritual horizons. The short chapters are readable, practical and profoundly grounded in the world as we experience it. You will be enlightened and enriched by a range of stories as we are challenged to glimpse holiness in a new and different way.

I specially appreciated the way in which each of the chapters draw the reader into prayer – taking us out of our own world into a passionate affirmation of grace and hope. I really love this book and especially enjoyed getting to know (amongst the other saints) Ambrose, Lucy, Elizabeth, the Innkeeper and Thomas Becket. It is beautifully written and captures so much of why we need to keep faithful and know always in the ups and downs of our modern world that the kingdom of God is near.

Reviewed by James Woodward, Principal of Sarum College

Unearthly Beauty is just £8 until 31 December 2017 (RRP £8.99). Available from our online shop + £2.50 postage, or mail order by phoning 01722 326899 or emailing

N.B. The bookshop is closed from 4:45pm on Friday 22nd December 2017 and will reopen at 9am on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. Any orders placed after 12 noon on Friday 22nd December will be sent out in early January 2018.

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